Survey Finds Decade-High Numbers of Irrawaddy Dolphins

The number of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins found in Myanmar this year has increased to 79, the highest in a decade, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society of Myanmar (WCS).

The numbers include seven calves aged three months or younger.

The Irrawaddy dolphins can also be found in the Mekong River in Cambodia and Laos, and in Mahakham River in Indonesia, according to WCS Myanmar. However, the dolphins in Myanmar have been on the brink of extinction, mostly due to electro-fishing.

In Myanmar, the endangered species is renowned among researchers and fishing communities for their co-fishing partnerships. A traditional fishing method in the area sees dolphins work with fishing crews to round up shoals of fish and drive them towards nets. The phenomenon attracts increasing numbers of tourists to the Irrawaddy River.

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Zarni Mann